Politics & Policy

Strzok and Page Plotted Covert Meeting with Presiding Judge in Michael Flynn Case

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn departs U.S. District Court in Washington, December 1, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Two federal law-enforcement officials who were removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for exchanging partisan text messages conspired to set up a meeting with the presiding judge in the case against Michael Flynn, according to text messages obtained by The Federalist.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge Rudolph Contreras was recused from the case days after Flynn, who briefly served as White House national security adviser, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Officials never provided a justification for the recusal.

The text messages between Peter Strzok, who briefly ran Mueller’s probe as the FBI’s No. 2 counterintelligence official, and Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page reveal the pair had a personal relationship with Contreras, which they seemingly attempted to leverage to influence Flynn’s case.

“Rudy is on the [FISC]!” Page texted Strzok on July 25, 2016. “Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago.”

“I did,” Strzok responded. “I need to get together with him.”

“[He] said he’d gotten on a month or two ago at a graduation party we were both at.”

Strzok and Page, who reportedly had a romantic relationship, even discussed planning a dinner party with the express purpose of providing cover for a meeting with Contreras.

“[REDACTED] suggested a social setting with others would probably be better than a one on one meeting,” Strzok told Page. “I’m sorry, I’m just going to have to invite you to that cocktail party.”

“Have to come up with some other work people cover for action,” Strzok added.

“Why more?” Page responded. “Six is a perfectly fine dinner party.”

It remains unclear whether the party ever took place.

Strzok participated in the FBI’s questioning of Flynn on January 24 before joining Mueller’s team, from which he was eventually removed after the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) learned he and Page had criticized Trump in the texts exchanged on their government-issued cellphones.

The text messages demonstrating the couple’s efforts to meet with Contreras were initially concealed from Congress as DOJ officials redacted the information before turning over the communications to lawmakers, congressional investigators told The Federalist. Some of the information contained in the text messages obtained by The Federalist remains unseen by congressional investigators.

The new revelations will likely bolster Republican calls for a special prosecutor to investigate potential bias in the Department of Justice.

“They cannot be counted on to investigate themselves,” Grassley told The Federalist in an interview. “If you do something wrong, you don’t have the fox guard the chicken house.”

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

World

Trump’s Disgraceful Press Conference in Helsinki

On Monday, President Trump gave a deeply disgraceful press conference with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The presser began with Trump announcing that although the Russia–U.S. relationship has “never been worse than it is now,” all of that “changed as of about four hours ago.” It was downhill from ... Read More
Culture

Questions for Al Franken

1)Al, as you were posting on social media a list of proposed questions for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, did it occur to you that your opinion on the matter is no more relevant than Harvey Weinstein’s? 2) Al, is it appropriate for a disgraced former U.S. senator to use the Twitter cognomen “U.S. ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Helsinki Discord

Donald Trump is not, and never will be, the Moscow correspondent for The Nation magazine, and he shouldn’t sound like it. The left-wing publication is prone to extend sympathetic understanding to adversaries of the United States and find some reason, any reason, to blame ourselves for their external ... Read More